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Oil prices rose today over supply fears as diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Russia deteriorate.

However, gains were restricted as traders await US non-farm payroll data for a further indication of the country’s economic strength.

Brent crude was up by 37 cents to hit $108.47 a barrel, while US oil rose by 34 cents to settle at $101.90 a barrel, reported Reuters.

Global markets were rattled earlier by the news of Russian military intervention on the Crimean peninsula, which pushed up oil prices, but the benchmarks slipped by more than $5 subsequently as the risk of war faded.

Worries over the conflict in Ukraine returned following the Crimean parliament’s move to allow the region to become part of Russia. A referendum on the status is due for 16 March.

The US has placed sanctions on Russia with American assets responsible for Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine.

Investors are now waiting for US payroll data, which will be released later today.

"The US has placed sanctions on Russia with American assets responsible for Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine."

The private sector added 149,000 additional jobs in February, in comparison with the weather-depressed gains of 113,000 in January and 75,000 in December, according to a Reuters survey.

US jobless claims hit a three-month low last week in a positive sign for the labour market, while manufacturing activity slowed in January indicating a potential fall in energy demand.

In addition, the outlook for oil demand is weak as the US refineries are set to undergo maintenance.


Image: Supply fears underpin oil prices. Photo: courtesy of supakitmod at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Energy